KUCHING: Sarawak is among the six states in Malaysia that is expected to experience possible floods during the forthcoming northeast monsoon season.
Director-general of the Fire Department of Malaysia Datuk Seri Muhammad Hamdan Wahid added that the other five states were Sabah, Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang.
Met by reporters during his working visit to the Sarawak Fire Department Headquarters yesterday (Oct 18), he revealed that his department would be focusing on these states and helping them prepare for the floods.
Based on the analysis from the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), the northeast monsoon season was expected to begin this month until March next year, he said.
Hamdan said 1,300 firefighters from 36 fire stations along with three forward base zones in Kuching, Sibu and Miri were ready with equipment to handle flood victims and perform search and rescue (SAR) tasks.
In the event of road closures in the rural areas, he said that the department had two aircraft on standby at the Miri air base.
“We have also identified hotspot areas that have dangerous slopes. In Sarawak, there are 77 landslide risk locations and 97 road access cut off locations and 349 flood-risk locations.
“We will focus on these identified areas in ensuring assistance from disaster management aspects such as evacuating victims and rescuing property is given priority,” he said.
Hamdan added firefighters would be assigned to conduct field patrols as well as provide information to the locals in the event of an evacuation.
In addition, they would also work with community leaders who had information on the number of residents in their respective areas.
“The data on this population is important so that we can provide assistance to them.
“Hence, I advise the public in high-risk areas to cooperate and abide by the evacuation instructions,” he said.